Ask Natasha

Ask Natasha

Ask Natasha | Is everything an expression?

sd10Q: Has honest journalism come to an end? Jeff, 18

A: Short answer: Yes. Long answer: As Vladimir Nabokov said during an interview with Herbert Gold for The Paris Review, “How can I ‘diminish’ to the level of ciphers, et cetera, characters that I have invented myself? One can ‘diminish’ a biographee, but not an eidolon.” And all biographees are diminished, and the more so the better, for entertainment purposes. There are arguments that reality TV started this, that our thought patterns became engulfed in a call-and-response style close up eyebrow raise form of editing that never existed before the sound-effect ridden (brilliant) Simple Life or the ongoing soiling of the Persians-in-L.A. stereotype. That the games in Temptation Island, Paradise Hotel, and Sex Decoy introduced a newly formulaic approach to backstabbing and dating, that the mirroring of our lives turned us all into decaying Dorian Greys.

There are arguments, too, that since the rise of the internet star and net-artist, every single person, at least every female, has decided at one point that she could be famous, and tried something crazy to achieve that, like tagging all her skinny selfies #mia and making images of text that say she wants to die just to stop the pain of trying to impress everyone. There are arguments, also, that a producer of a brand new publication will sign a deal with anyone, and most likely the first devil to offer a pen and contract will be the one named libel. But who’s to say how the state of things started? And who really cares?

It’s sink or swim out there, websites, and drowning only happens when no one sees you. So some once-wholesome publications have started to bully people other than the real proven dorks, because you can’t survive with non-readers as your readers. And sometimes, when the sites want clicks so they can sell ads, the bait they’re using for clicks is the ads themselves, placed free of charge. What’s worse? Nothing, really. What’s just as bad? Every “news” source baiting clicks by only reporting on sensational stories, in a sensationalist tone, with even more sensational headlines, until, the joke on Portlandia, the meta-article, “Charlize Theron NSFW,” written by an esteemed journalist and applauded by his new aggregation-site bosses, isn’t a joke anymore. The Huffington Post jumped on this video right after it aired, linking, in its 89-word article, the most clicked slideshows, and following it with one called “Kittens Playing With Big Dogs.” The article ends with the fatalistic words “(Dear snake: How does your tail taste?)”.

But plenty of people have expanded on all this, and I’m no better than the ones I’m tearing down, am I? My journalistic integrity is the most questionable, because I could accidentally fall into that most depraved and of-the-times category called Creative Nonfiction (a degree in many a grad school, now, and a major in most public colleges). The structure of the term gives away its own evasive quality: Creative – relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work… Which could mean anything, including lies. Non – not doing; not involved with… Basically, could be, but doesn’t need to follow the rules of… Fiction – literature in the form of prose, esp. short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people… So, lies, again, but with plots, and those usually have a motive, as in a moral or a warning. In short, creative nonfiction does not have to do anything, other than express a person’s meaning. What are we left with? Getting a reaction.

And what am I doing writing this? What are you doing asking me to? What happens when I’m not writing? I’m thinking about writing, but more likely, I’m thinking about the reaction I get from the writing, once it’s finished. Where will the writing be? Will it change someone’s life? Will it prove something to someone who hates me for something I couldn’t even help doing and feel sorry about now? How many likes on Facebook will it get, and will my siblings happen to see that, or will they only see the likes my post on my Facebook wall gets, which will probably be less than the amount it gets here?

Honest journalism ended when we first raised the question, “Is everything an expression?” Now, languages are based on this theory. Because everything is, and must be, an expression, and because all expression is manipulation, the relaying of truth is not only subjective, it is sympathetic. Only quote philosophy. And in case you were confused, I’m no philosopher, so don’t quote me.

Ask Natasha Anything at asknatasha@dismagazine.com

Recent Posts

The character will not be the only one who modifies his image in the new of ‘The Avengers’ Besides being one of Marvel’s funniest films, Watch Thor Ragnarok Full movie online ‘ is a film that contains some key data for the evolution of the MCU’s cosmic plot, already launched towards the imminent confrontation with Thanos in ‘Infinity War ‘ . And is that in addition to the return of the Hulk, the new adventure of… [read more »]

A Conversation about Ergonomic Futures

Lafayette Anticipation associate curator Anna Colin talks to artist Tyler Coburn about Ergonomic Futures, a speculative project engaged with art, design, science, anthropology and writing. In this interview, Coburn discusses the research, production process and network of collaborators of a multilayered project ultimately concerned with the futures of humankind. Anna Colin: When one comes across your museum seats Ergonomic Futures (2016—) in contemporary art exhibitions—and soon in natural history, fine art, and anthropology museums—they look… [read more »]

nils lange + saliva : l’eau des algues

L’Eau des Algues Two alchemists already aware of each other’s Instagrams meet for the first time in a gay sauna. They are swimming; it’s the Hood By Air afterparty in Paris. They are Lukas Hofmann and Nils Amadeus Lange. Months later, they meet again. They are on the edge of yet another steaming pool; it’s the Manifesta Biennale closing event at Cabaret Voltaire. They are performing the perfume titled “L’eau des Algues.” Head notes: Zürich… [read more »]

Toward a Low Key Voting System Where Votes Are Actually Considered | Adrian Massey

While reading A Very Short Introduction to Game Theory, I came across the following passage, “If you want people to vote, we need to move to a more decentralized system in which every vote really does count enough to outweigh the lack of enthusiasm for voting which so many people obviously feel…Simply repeating the slogan that ‘every vote counts’ isn’t ever going to work, because it isn’t true.” I was jarred. For me, anecdotally knowing… [read more »]

Tough Luck | Tyler Reinhard

When life is being super unfair, just do what we all do: suffer the consequences. I wake up and the first thing I do is check my phone. A convenient euphemism for using Facebook’s machine learning techniques to discover which 300 entries are statistically most likely to stand out from the tens of thousands of brain dumps my friends and family have produced over the last 48 hours. Impressed by what Facebook provides, I think… [read more »]

America Is Hard to See: A Guide to not being depressed about US electoral politics this November

In order to make sense of state politics in the birthplace of statistical marketing and the internet, one has to be wary of the effects of these technologies on the country’s popular media. In a time when our news and advertisements are tailored to our pre-recorded political opinions, it can be especially difficult to empathize with differing political views. Likewise, learning about the histories of state politics is not encouraged by platforms that profit from… [read more »]

On self-care and the election | Eva Saelens

We can get together and laugh about it. We can heave sighs and express disbelief, but it’s never enough. This presidential election year has lasted for years, and they sit on citizens like a slick film. We feel touched by an unshakable germ, invaded by a blood-sucker, afflicted by a social cancer, drained of the plump vitality of life and the amazing liberty of choices, and transformed into a cynical, depressed shrivel. After being touched… [read more »]

Swarovski Crystal Meth at National Sawdust

Swarovski Crystal Meth, a collaboration between Ser Serpas, Daniela Czenstochowski and Gia Garrison for the National Sawdust “Selkie Series” performances, curated by Alexandra Marzella. Music composed and produced by Daniela Czenstochowski Poem by Sera Serpas Sound Edit Mateo Majluf Vocals Sera Serpas, Gia Garrison and Daniela Czenstochowski All Images Olimpia Dior i went to the desert con mi mama outlet store shopping is fried onto mi conciensa, big bags, wins bigger losses fragmented lux economy… [read more »]

Hasbeens and Willbees Auction @ Romeo Gallery

Shop items from the most recent Hasbeens and Willbees luxury auction now! Featuring Bjarne Melgaard, Bror August, Women’s History Museum, Lou Dallas, Hermes, Gautier, and more. All photography Dillon Sachs Styling Avena Gallagher Hosted by Rome Gallery NYC

NHU DUONG SS17 WORK COLLECTION FT. KARL HOLMQVIST

What is a piece of clothing that “works”? Who is working whom? Is the one who poses the one who actually “works” hardest? The S/S 2017 collection of Berlin-based, Swedish- Vietnamese designer NHU DUONG entitled ‘WORK COLLECTION’ plays with the ideas of professionalism, leisure and appropriateness through a range of garments that are inspired by work outfits and hobby uniforms. Overalls, raw denim outfits, kung-fu pyjamas, biker pants, baggy tights and gloves, bomber-jackets, bomber suits,… [read more »]